New Spaces Is an Innovative Take on Home Remodels (Just in Time for Spring!)

Photos by Brian Shultz, Shultz Photo & Design
Photos by Brian Shultz, Shultz Photo & Design

Have you ever looked around your kitchen, bathroom, or perhaps your entire home and wished you could be on one of those TV shows? You know, the ones where they swoop in and like magic — poof! Your house is remodeled.

Well New Spaces doesn’t work quite like magic, but they are an innovative company that works unlike any other remodeling company in the Twin Cities area.

Where It Began

Doug and Carol Nelson founded the company in 1980. Today, the family tradition continues with the second generation of Nelsons running New Spaces — Shawn Nelson, Doug and Carol’s son, is President.

That makes New Spaces the only father/son team that has both been president of the Builder’s Association of Twin Cities. And their unique way of doing things doesn’t stop there.

Where It Is Now

New Spaces is a small, tight-knit company of 20 direct employees. What makes them stand out in their field is all their production and design team are in-house.

“We have lead carpenters that have spent over 32 years with us. That’s fairly rare in our industry,” says Bjorn Freudenthal, West Metro Home Advisor and Vice President of Business Development for New Spaces.

That means no sub-contractors and way less chance of a vision for a home getting sidetracked or off-plan. Plus, it means the designers, contractors, and anyone else with New Spaces who has a hand in your dream home remodel all know each other and work well together. No need to swap out sub-contracted teams and start from scratch.

“Our team is unmatched in the industry,” says Jamie Tjornehoj, Marketing Communications Manager and CRM/Data Specialist for New Spaces. “We have that family feel and respect for one another. Everyone takes a personal responsibility for the success of the company.”

This all results in a smooth and streamlined design process they’re delighted to provide to their clients.

Jamie Tjornehoj (L) and Bjorn Fruedenthal (R) of New Spaces

The Design Process

Speaking of the design process, New Spaces offers their services in three easy steps.

Step 1: Virtual or In-Person Consultation

This step is where they get to know you and your family. You’ll fill out a worksheet with your “needs, wants, and wishes.” Needs are must-haves, wants are nice-to-haves, and the wishes are the dreams.

They review all the project parameters and realistic investment ranges with every client so you can make a fully informed decision.

Step 2: Design

Once they’ve established your goals and dreams with your remodel, their design team gets to work. They create three unique design options to fit your lifestyle and goals.

Step 3: Build

Once you approve the design, New Spaces gets to work. They make sure to keep you apprised of everything that’s happening and when. Plus, your lead carpenter is your point person throughout the build, and your designer and production manager are just a call away should you need anything.

Before you know it, you’ll be living in your, well, new space and loving it!

What Truly Sets New Spaces Apart

If all that sounded like a normal remodeling or contractor service, there’s one key difference that truly sets New Spaces apart from the competition.

“We do all the work up front. That’s the secret sauce. We do all the heavy lifting prior to the construction contract,” says Bjorn.

What does that mean?

It means everything gets designed and specified, selected, and priced — all prior to the construction contract.

With other companies, 95% of the remodeling world gets to the contract quickly and then material selections are finalized after. When you have hundreds of decisions to make through a remodel and most of them are happening after the contract, there might be a huge difference in cost from contract to final result.

But not New Spaces.

Instead, they start with a design agreement that moves into the construction contract with a high degree of specificity. So, you start with the consultation, a potential design, any revisions, a showroom visit to confirm your choices, and only then do you get to the construction contract.

That means fewer potentially costly surprises for clients once the work gets underway.

“Our clients appreciate this layer of transparency in our process. It’s one of our differentiating factors that really sets us apart,” says Jamie.

Award-Winning Remodeling

In addition to their unique approach to the remodeling industry, New Spaces is an award-winning company. Their latest award among many is the 2023 Regional CotY Winner for Entire House Under $250,000.

This project involved taking a 1950s rambler-style home and reconfiguring it through a complete main floor transformation and space plan re-configuration. The location is beautiful; the home is snuggled up to Shady Oak Lake in Minnetonka.

The family had dreams of having a better suited home to accompany family living and entertaining.

The remodel included:

  • Adding a primary bathroom to create a complete owners suite,
  • Mudroom functionality
  • Introducing a second bathroom to serve as the kids’/guest bathroom on the main level (without having to expand outside of the existing footprint of the home!)
  • Introducing an open-concept kitchen with powerful sight-lines that now run front-to-back of their house (These changes added a lot of natural light by removing the bearing wall intersecting the kitchen and the dining room)
  • Replacing EE Windows and adding an exterior patio door out to the deck area off the main level
  • Even removing a massive masonry fireplace and bearing wall between the kitchen and family room, ultimately creating a much better space plan and pattern of circulation

“Our design team really went above and beyond on this remodel,” says Jamie. “It continues to be highly praised by our Twin Cities community.”

Client Raves

Clients have nothing but positive things to say about New Spaces.

Vince and Kate in Minneapolis say, “Quality workmanship, personal touch, attentive care, and willingness to explore options together.”

“Just a great team of people to work with. I highly recommend New Spaces,” says Amy from Minnetonka.

“When I walked into the showroom, it was a show-stopper,” says Debbie. “Then having New Spaces with their design team made my life so much easier. They made sure the work was done on time… and did the job right.”

Learn More

If you want to learn more about their projects, you can not only view their website but also check out their Happy Hour Home Tours where once per month they walk you through their projects virtually.

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